Track & Field: U.S. Women shine in Diamond League opener

Track & Field: U.S. Women shine in Diamond League opener
DOHA — On a clear night with temperatures above 95 degrees in Qatar’s capital city, the scorching temps brought fire to the track as USATF athletes set world leads and meet records in the opening competition of the 2015 Diamond League.

Hurdle Hype meets expectations

In the highly anticipated women’s 100m hurdles, world-leader Jasmin Stowers (Pendleton, South Carolina) lined up against a stacked field, which featured two Olympic champions including Dawn-Harper Nelson (Los Angeles, California), last year’s Diamond winner, and Sally Pearson. Stowers’ steady stride broke away after the third obstacle, and she earned the win in 12.35, a PR and the third-fastest time ever by an American. That time also made her the No. 7 woman ever. Sharika Nelvis (Jonesboro, Arkansas), in second place, also set a personal best with her 12.54.

Women’s long jump saw defending Diamond League champion Tianna Bartoletta (Tampa, Florida) kick off the Diamond season winning with a last-round leap of 6.99/22-11.25. Bartoletta opened the competition with a world-leading 6.96/22-10, and held off the challenge of Britain’s Shara Proctor, who finished four centimeters back.

Seasoned sprinters set the tone

Allyson Felix is all smiles after her 200m Doha, Diamond League win.

Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California) cruised to a comfortable 200m win, pulling away in the last 20 meters for a 21.98 finish against a loaded field including Americans Charonda Williams (Clermont, Florida), Tiffany Townsend (Killeen, Texas), Shalonda Solomon (Inglewood, California) and 17-year-old Kaylin Whitney (Clermont, Florida), making her Diamond League debut.

Francena McCorory (Hampton, Virginia) won the women’s 400m in 50.21, taking the lead after the final curve and holding steadily through the straightaway. Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas), who went out quickly and was leading at the 200 mark, was second in 50.79.

Click here for results from Doha. Diamond League action continues Sunday in Shanghai.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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